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Around one in six hospital admissions for dog bite and strike injuries involved a child aged under 10, according to provisional data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Of those, almost half required plastic surgery, and more than a quarter led to facial surgery.
The most recent figures, for the year ending April 2012, showed a total of 6,450 admissions for dog bites or strikes, an increase of 5.2% on the previous year. Of those 1,040 were of under-10s, with nearly half (494 admissions) requiring plastic surgery, and 27% (278 admissions) resulting in oral or facial surgery."
The mix of dogs and kids isn't always the most sensible pairing but from this it seems that a minority of dog owners are not taking responsibility for their pet, causing injuries to children. I would be interested to know which breeds of dogs were involved in these incidents, and whether they were banned breeds who are known to be aggressive or whether the dogs were provoked or not properly controlled. Likewise, it would be interesting to know about parents' attitudes towards their children mixing with dogs (that are owned by another family) at parks or public places.
It seems like it is 'common sense' to keep potentially dangerous pets under control and protecting children from them. As the pet charities from above claim, it is a responsiblity and a privilege to own a dog and owners. Are new laws needed to control dogs from attacking people? Or should parents be more proactive in protecting their children?